Foxtel has today confirmed the signing of broadcast partnership agreements with six major English football clubs in a new deal that will cause plenty of disruption to the plans of Optus.
From July 1, Foxtel will add three new High Definition channels featuring official club programming from Chelsea, Liverpool FC and Manchester United.
Chelsea TV, LFCTV and MUTV will be provided to all Foxtel Sports pack subscribers at no additional cost
Additionally, dedicated programming blocks from EPL clubs Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur will be added to existing Fox Sports HD channels each week.
The new deal secures delayed coverage of all home and away EPL matches from the six teams, and fans of other clubs will see their teams play 12 times per season.
Games broadcast via Foxtel will be delayed by approximately 12 hours, meaning a match played on Saturday night (3pm London) will become available to Foxtel viewers from 1pm AEST on Sundays.
The new channels will give fans access to games from the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup. Foxtel Sports subscribers will be able to view more than half the games played each EPL season.
The new deal is another blow for Optus; the Telco copped a backlash from fans this week after announcing pricing for its own EPL coverage. Optus has secured exclusive live coverage to the next three seasons of the competition. However fans have been left unhappy at having to subscribe to an Optus mobile or broadband plan in order to gain access to the coverage.
Questions also remain regarding the picture quality that Optus will provide to football fans.
A spokesperson for Optus has confirmed to DeciderTV that Optus Home Broadband customers should be able to view the games on TV in HD using a Fetch set-top box, however Optus is unable to guarantee HD quality due to Internet bandwidth limitations in some areas.
The spokesperson indicated Optus customers unhappy with the picture quality delivered over Optus Internet may be able to upgrade to a HD satellite option for an additional $20 per month.
As well as the English Premier League, Optus has also secured rights to the whole FIFA World Cup tournament, including 39 exclusive live matches. SBS has retained simulcast rights to 25 World Cup Games.
As a trade off for the World Cup Deal SBS has secured one live Saturday night EPL game per round.
This means Foxtel customers will be able to view one game live in HD via SBS and full replays of other EPL games the next day.
The new Foxtel channels and Fox Sports programming will provide exclusive access to each of the major clubs including pre-season games, player and management interviews, manager’s press conferences, and extended in-depth pre-match build up and post-match analysis.
Confirming the deal Peter Tonagh, Foxtel Chief Executive said:
“The addition of these dedicated new sports channels is a huge win for English football fans who subscribe to Foxtel. These channels, along with the recently announced beIN SPORTS channels, will be compulsory viewing for all fans of international football and will also complement the Fox Sports coverage of the local A-League competition.”
“Our new EPL Club partners are global brands in their own right and have large groups of dedicated supporters in Australia making up more than 75 per cent of the English football fan base here. Our customers will now have access to commentary, analysis, insight and behind the scenes action they’ve never seen before.
“We know how much Australians love sport and these new channels, all available in HD, will make Foxtel an even more compelling proposition and cementing us as the new home of European football.”
All of the new sports channels will also be available to stream via Foxtel Go and in standard definition on Foxtel Play
The channels join the recently announced beIN SPORTS 1,2,3 which will be available to Foxtel sports subscribers from Saturday May 14.
beIN SPORTS will broadcast all 51 games from UEFA EURO 2016 this June.
It also holds the broadcast rights for UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 Capital One Cup, European Rugby Champions Cup, and the Six Nations tournament. South American football including the South American FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Brazilian Serie A and Sao Paulo Championship.
Foxtel has signed broadcast agreements with six major English football clubs including Chelsea, Liverpool FC, Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
Starting from 1 July 2016 Foxtel will add the official club channels from Chelsea (Chelsea TV), Liverpool FC (LFCTV) and Manchester United (MUTV) to the Foxtel Sports pack bringing the total number of sports channels to 15 at no extra cost.
These channels have never been available in Australia before.
FOX SPORTS will broadcast dedicated programming blocks each week from Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur on their existing channels.
Coverage will feature all home and away EPL games, including all Premier League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup matches from the six EPL clubs, broadcast on delay.
Programming also includes exclusive club content including pre-season matches, player and management interviews, manager’s press conferences, club documentaries and extended in- depth pre-match build up and post-match analysis.
How to watch
The new channels come as part of an existing Sports pack residential subscription at no extra cost with CHELSEA TV on 516, LFCTV on 517 and MUTV on 518.
The FOX SPORTS programming blocks will be scheduled automatically by FOX SPORTS as part of their regular sports coverage line up.
Channels are available to Foxtel residential and Foxtel Play^ subscribers on the Sports pack and can also be viewed on the move via Foxtel Go^.
All channels will be available in HD* and SD and feature Foxtel’s Lookback and Start Over functionality.
Games will be delayed, with games played overnight Saturday night (3pm London) available to Foxtel viewers from 1pm AEST on Sundays.
EPL club channel coverage features from July 1
Every Chelsea FC game from the FA Premier Cup, FA Cup, Capital One Cup, pre-season Tour matches and extended highlights.
Unrivalled behind-the-scenes access to coaches and players at Stamford Bridge and the training ground.
U21 Premier League, U18 Premier League, FA Youth Cup, UEFA Youth League, Women’s Champions League games.
Pitch side reports, latest team news, post-match reaction, audio commentary.
Daily training ground reports, new signing interviews, manager and player match previews, manager’s press conferences.
Every game from Liverpool FC in the FA Premier League, FA Cup, Capital One Cup and qualifying UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League and pre-season matches.
Live and exclusive pre-season matches, behind-the-scenes access, and live news.
Exclusive new interviews, features and documentaries.
Extended in-depth pre-match build up and post-match analysis.
Exclusive, live coverage of all U18s and U21s home matches and coverage of the Liverpool Ladies FC season.
Premier League preview show, Press Box, Thursday Night Show, LFC World.
All Manchester United FA Premier League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup matches in full.
Exclusive interviews with players and staff, live reserve and academy games and "classic" matches, footballing news and all of the team's pre-season friendly matches.
Exclusive documentaries, player interviews, manager’s weekly press conference and match analysis.
Live Under 21 and Under 18 matches with full replays of all first team games.
Match day build-up and analysis, pre and post-match opinions and interviews.
Breaking news from across the Club every hour, every day.
Documentaries, historic matches and footage charting over 130 years of Manchester United.
Arsenal TV (FOX SPORTS programming block)
Arsenal’s exclusive and entertaining club football content block featuring EPL, Emirates FA Cup, UEFA Champions League matches, plus press conferences and magazine programmes.
Full Arsenal matches delivered each week.
Press conferences, Arsenal 360, classic matches and localised extra content.
Manchester City - City TV (FOX SPORTS programming block):
Premier League Games, Champions / Europa League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup plus a pre-season special block including the summer tour and friendly games.
Pre-game build-up segments, full match and post-match reactions. In depth interviews, classic archive footage and exclusive behind-the-scenes access.
Tottenham Hotspurs FC - Spurs TV (FOX SPORTS programming block):
Premier League Games, Champions / Europa League, FA Cup & Capital One Cup plus a pre-season special block including the summer tour and friendly games.
Spurs TV international programming highlighting each weekend's first team fixture along with pre and post-match interviews with head coach and players.
Special Spurs TV features, with off-field challenges giving fans a chance to get to know more about the members of the team they support every week on the pitch.
*HD channels only available to customers with the Sports and HD channel packs. ^SD channels only.